port of harlem magazine

November 17 - November 30, 2011


New Grandfather Clauses and Poll Taxes Attack Voting Rights Gains


This year alone, 30 state legislatures have introduced bills intended to make it harder for Americans to exercise their rights to vote. “This effort is coordinated and targeted, and it is a throwback to a time that no one in our nation will want to revisit,” says Ben Jealous, President and CEO of the legendary National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

Jealous was referring to the days after slavery ended in the United States and Whites eager to regain political power enacted laws stating the no “person” could vote unless their “grandfather” had voted - - which effectively cut of the newly freed Blacks and their children whose forefathers could not vote because they were human property. (Women did not have universal suffrage.)

On December 10th, United Nations Human Rights Day, progressive groups will hold a series of rallies and events all over the country. In New York City, they will march from the office of the Koch brothers, the right-wing funders of many of the anti-voting rights measures, to a rally at the United Nations Building.

The NAACP is also gathering signatures to combat the proposed new laws that can affect the presidential election in 2012 and beyond.

amar group

Juanita “BZB” Britton Installed as Queen Mother in Ghana

Juanita “Busy Bee” Britton has conducted the annual BZB Holiday Gift and Art Show at Shiloh Baptist Church (Starting Friday and Saturday, November 25 and 26) for almost a quarter of a century. It’s the fun place where shoppers find unique holiday gifts from artisans from throughout the country and the African Diaspora. Now, BZB is an African Queen Mother.

juanita britton in ghana

She recently returned from Ghana where Akan (a small ethnic group) King Nana Mosi Botang II, installed her as Queen Mother of the Konko Village in the Black Star Republic’s eastern region. The King made his choice so that Britton may “ enhance our awareness of opportunities beyond Konko’s borders and help us utilize our talent, creativity and resourcefulness to forge commercial and trade links for the benefit of our people.”

In addition to the Shiloh Gift Show, Britton is an international business woman with experience in the United States, Africa and China. She owns, in partnership with The Paradise Shops, the Brooks Brother’s clothing stores in National and Dulles airports and the book store with CNBC Newsstand in National Airport.

Photo:  BZB (center) in Konko, Ghana.

New Young Adult Books

 By Wayne A. Young
all you can beThis a great story for budding sports enthusiasts! New York Yankee outfielder Curtis Granderson hits all the high marks as an accomplished baseball star who is one of only a handful of players with a college degree. He calls it the accomplishment that makes him most proud.

New York City school children created the clear illustrations in his book that feature great snippets on his handling a variety of challenges from the wearing of glasses to wearing hand me downs as a youngster. “I want to play in another World Series,” he writes, “I want to win tomorrow. You should want to a winner every day. No matter how well you do today, strive to do better tomorrow,” he continued while portrayed swinging a bat.

  • Black & White - The Confrontation between Reverend Fred L. Shuttlesworth and Eugene “Bull” Connor - By Larry Dane Brimmer (Calkins Creek, $16.95)

What a timely book. Civil rights icon Reverend Fred L. Shuttlesworth died just weeks ago, October 5, 2011, and this is a great book that captures his sacrifices and triumphs for young adults.

  • My Hands Sing the Blues - Romare Bearden’s Childhood Journey - By Jeanne Walker Harvey (Blue Slip Media, $17.95)

It’s fascinating that the work and life Romare Bearden continues. My Hands Sing the Blues, celebrates the centennial of his September 2, 1911 birth.

What Color is My World? The Lost History of African-American Inventors by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Candlestick Press, $17.99)
I remember first seeing Bill Cosby in Black History: Lost, Stolen, or Strayed in my pre-teen years. It was an eye opener, a game changer. What Color is My World will do the same for many Black and non-Black children who do not see any, if not enough, about Black inventors who have made a difference in their lives.

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Election 2012

republican sticker

Opinion on Obama:  Racial Divide

According to the latest CNN poll, White Americans give Obama a thumbs down by a 61%-36% margin, while non-white Americans give the president a thumbs up by a more than 2-1 margin.

Obama 2012 Calendar
Here is what I think is really cool about this calendar: It doesn't just keep you up to date on the Obama campaign's day-to-day activities. It actually maps out the organizing for the next 12 months -- lets you know what phase the Obama campaign is in, what that means for your community and how the work the campaign is doing is connected to the bigger picture.

Started in the Truman Years - Completed 65 Years Later in the Obama Years
On November 19, 1945, only 7 months into his presidency, Democrat Harry S. Truman sent a Presidential message to the United States Congress proposing a new national health care program. Health care reform, a top Democratic priority since the Truman administration, was passed by the previous Congress in a series of virtually party-line votes. Obama signed the act into law in March 2010. The law is widely considered to be the signature legislative accomplishment of the current president's first two years in office.

NAACP Distributes New Short Video on New Jim Crow Era Voting Laws
This week, Brave New Films debuts a new video shining the spotlight on the Koch Brothers and their role in the voting rights attacks. "Koch Brothers Exposed" is a call to action for all Americans concerned about protecting this most fundamental of rights.

The NAACP is organizing aggressively to stop these rollbacks and is distributing the video. On
December 10th, International Human Rights Day, the NAACP will organize a series of rallies and events around the country. In New York City, the group will begin a march at a demonstration outside the Koch brothers' offices and continue on to a rally at the United Nations Building.


Top GOP Debate Moments

Texas Says NO to Confederate Plates

The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles Board rejected a specialty license plate featuring the Confederate flag. The board voted 8-0 to reject the license plate design, with one member absent.

“The Confederate flag is a visual representation of a time and a place where racism was openly flaunted and people of color were terrorized for being different,” stated NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Jealous. “Hopefully others in South Carolina and elsewhere will follow (Texas’) example,” he continued.
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ivan brown realty

Question Bridge: Black Males

Question Bridge: Black Males is a transmedia art project that seeks to represent and redefine Black male identity in America. Through video mediated question and answer exchanges, diverse members of this “demographic” bridge economic, political, geographic and generational division.  

Michelle Obama Style Guide

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Things to Do

stew and heidiStew and Heidi
in Concert
Studio Theater
14th & P St, NW
Washington, DC
Fri, Nov 18 8:30p
Sat, Nov 19 8:30p, $20-$75

The Gil Scott-Heron Memorial Concert, featuring Sonia Sanchez
Paul Robeson Campus Center
Rutgers University - Newark
350 Martin Luther King Blvd.
Newark, NJ
Fri, Nov 18, 7p-10p, $10

c r gibbsC.R. Gibbs History Talk
Runners: Maryland Fugitives from Slavery
4th Anniversary Celebration of the
Sylvia Gaither Garrison Library
1101 Smithville Street
Annapolis, MD
Sat, Nov 19 10:30a, free

Calumet Outdoors Series Hike at Deep River
3100 Liverpool Road
Lake Station, IN (Metro Gary/Chicago)
Eric Neagu (312-922-1030)
Sat, Nov 19, 9a, free

bzb queen motherBZB Gift Show
Shiloh Baptist Church
9th and P St., NW
Washington, DC
Fri, Nov 25 10a-7p
Sat, Nov 26 10a-7p, free

Zawadi Annual Artists Ornaments Market
1524 U Street NW
Washington DC
Fri, Nov 25 12p-7p
Sat, Nov 26 12p-7p
Sun, Nov 27 noon-5p

Maze featuring Frankie Beverly
with K-Ci and Jo Jo
Times Union Center of Performing Arts
Fri, Nov 25
Jacksonville, FL, $35


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